Fall Activities

Houston Brick Club has had a variety of activities in the fall of 2022. The September meeting was held at the LEGO® Brand Retail Store in The Galleria mall. About 20 members discussed upcoming activities and plans, socialized, and enjoyed early shopping. Thanks to the store manager and staff for opening early for the Club!

The October meeting was held at Bricks and Toys Destination in Katy where sixteen members were on hand. Members teamed up in pairs for a Telephone Build competition – this was the first time a few of the members had done this activity. Several members brought Halloween-theme MOCs, and there was a lot of discussion about upcoming activities. Thanks to the owners of Bricks and Toys for allowing the Club to use their space!

On October 28, six Club members performed a live build at the soft opening of the Brickman Awesome exhibit in downtown Houston. A “Holiday Cactus” was designed ahead of time and built onsite in about 4 hours. Club members were also allowed to view the exhibit, which featured about 30 incredible builds made from LEGO® bricks.

There were just a few public visitors to the event on this day: it was the unpublicized “soft opening” of the exhibit, and the Houston Astros were playing Game 1 of the World Series practically next door, later that evening. The exhibit runs through the end of December .. the Club’s build and an informational sign will remain on display through the duration of the exhibit and should be seen by thousands of people. Thanks to Houston First for inviting Houston Brick Club to this activity!

A week later, on November 5, nine Club members provided displays of MOCs at Tech Fest Live at the Ion in Houston. This event aimed to provide exposure to technological resources that educate and inspire youth to effectively use technology to access, evaluate, create, and communicate information. This was the first time this event was put on; we look forward to taking part again in the future. Thanks to Innovation Spark for inviting us to participate!

Brick Rodeo 2023

The Brick Rodeo LEGO® Fan Convention and Exhibition will be held July 6-9, 2023, at the Houston Marriott Sugar Land. This event is returning to the same location it was held in 2021. Members of Houston Brick Club are organizing this event, along with a team of LEGO® fans from all over Texas.

Brick Rodeo combines a four-day convention with two days of public exhibition. Full convention members will play games, attend presentations, set up custom creations made from LEGO® bricks, and socialize with friends new and old. On Saturday and Sunday, public visitors will be able to view all the custom creations and talk with the builders.

The custom creations are called MOCs by LEGO® fans – meaning My Own Creations. The models on display at Brick Rodeo will all be custom-designed and built by LEGO® fans – these are not sets sold by The LEGO Group. MOCs and displays may be smaller than your hand, or more than 20′ long.

Examples of MOCs and displays from previous years include castles, pop-culture scenes and figures, mosaics, spaceships, city buildings and scenes, historical recreations, and much more. Some builds are highly realistic; others a fantastical and humorous. There is truly something for everyone at Brick Rodeo!

Brick Rodeo is a non-profit event run by volunteers. The event also includes fund-raising and charity events to benefit local childrens hospitals and Fairy Bricks – an organization based in the UK that provides LEGO® sets to children in hospitals around the world.

You can visit BrickRodeo.com to learn more about the event, and to sign up for an email newsletter. You can also follow Brick Rodeo on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. In 2021 the convention memberships and public tickets both sold out – you don’t want to miss the fun!

Art and Dragons, August 2022

Houston Brick Club members participated in two activities in August, 2022. On August 6, four members spent the day at Dragon’s Lair, a local comic and gaming store. Club members displayed MOCs and talked with visitors about LEGO®, Houston Brick Club, and Brick Rodeo.

On August 13, ten Club members were at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring, Texas. This small museum has been running an exhibit of custom models built from LEGO® bricks this summer. On this day, Club members organized public building activities.

Earlier this year, The LEGO Group sent several thousand 2×4 bricks in assorted colors to LEGO® User Groups around the world. This generous gift was in honor of the company’s 90th anniversary being celebrated this year. Houston Brick Club brought these bricks to the museum where visitors (adults and children) created a wide assortment of builds – flowers, characters, a pyramid and sphinx, and much more. With the guidance of Club members, some visitors built larger bricks from the 2×4 bricks; these larger bricks were then combined into two large towers.

Another activity today was a presentation by Club member and brick artist Tim Hutchings. He talked about his art background and how he uses that to create models such as “Desert Mountain Landscape,” on display at the museum.

The museum had about 400 visitors today, about double their usual Saturday attendance. Attendance for this exhibit of LEGO® artwork and models has far exceeded any summer exhibit they have put on.

Houston Brick Club would like to thank The LEGO Group for their generosity and support, and we would like to thank the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art for the opportunity to share our love of LEGO® bricks with their visitors.

Brick Rodeo 2022

Brick Rodeo was held June 30-July 3 at the Renaisssance Marriott in Austin, Texas. Over 50 Houston Brick Club members attended as full convention members or public visitors.

Many Club members were recognized for their fantastic builds, including Steve Laughlin receiving “Best in Show” for his large Fabuland display. Other Club honorees were Don Seibert, Jason Maggitti, Valerie Maggitti, Brian Costello, Alexander Harber, Peter Myers, Greg Jonason, Robert & Eloise Roche, Patrick Frain, Jeff Schroeder, Ethan Dungan, Noah Sher.

Keynote speakers Richard Board and Flynn DeMarco (“Tricky Bricks” on social media, and contestants on season 1 of the LEGO® Masters TV show) talked about their brick-building journey over the last few years. They also met with the public and led an exciting building challenge game.

Brick Rodeo featured 12,000 square feet of custom-built models made from LEGO® bricks. Many vendors were present to sell a variety of parts, minifigures, new and used sets, and other related merchandise. Convention members spent Thursday and Friday setting up displays, playing games, attending workshops, and socializing. Public visitors arrived on Saturday and Sunday.

Next year’s Brick Rodeo will be July 6-9, 2023, at the Houston Marriott Sugar Land. Sign up for email newsletter at brickrodeo.com, and follow Brick Rodeo on social media for information.

LEGO® Exhibit at Art Museum

In the summer of 2022, a small Houston-area art museum showed an exhibit of custom models built from LEGO® bricks. Several members of Houston Brick Club, in addition to other brick artists, had builds on display.

The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts contacted Houston Brick Club at Brick Rodeo 2021. From there, a partnership was created where the Club helped find artists to contribute built models to the exhibit. Artists included members of Houston Brick Club, TexLUG, and Texas Brick Railroad; plus two contestants from the LEGO® Masters TV show (Moto and Dawn); and brick artist Jonathan Lopes.

Artwork on display included: mosaics, architectural models, pop culture characters, realistic reproductions of cars, and much more. Houston Brick Club’s model of downtown Houston was on display in a fully completed state for the first time.

Moto, a contestant from season 2 of LEGO® Masters, came from out of town in person to set up his highly technical spaceship model. He spent all of opening day at the museum talking with visitors and answering questions about his experience on the show.

A few photos are below, more photos can be found here.

The museum also provided a play area for public visitors. This area had a “graffiti wall” – baseplates mounted to a wall where anyone could put bricks up, mosaic-style. It also had several bins of loose LEGO® and Duplo® bricks for free building. This area continued to be popular during exhibit hours.

The museum recorded over 16,000 visitors during the three months this exhibit was open. That was roughly double the amount of visitors to the museum for any exhibit in its 14-year history. Houston Brick Club was thrilled to be part of this exhibit that combines the both the “fine art” and “play” characteristics of the LEGO® brick.

The exhibit ran from June 4 – September 3, 2022, at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art in Spring, Texas. More information about the museum can be found at pearlmfa.org.

Downtown Houston, by Houston Brick Club

Desert Mountain Landscape, by Tim Hutchings
Here Comes the Sun, by Dawn Sloboda. Life’s a Reef, by Steve and Lili Laughlin
Mr. Frumble’s Pickle Car, by Jonathan Lopes. Michael Kanemoto talking about his Chrysalis 2.

Cars, by David Slater.

Donating LEGO® sets

Once again, Houston Brick Club partnered with Fairy Bricks to provide donated LEGO® sets to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Fairy Bricks provided 6 large boxes of new LEGO® sets, and the Club delivered them to the hospital.

Houston Brick Club wants to thank both Fairy Bricks and Texas Children’s Hospital for all the great things they do. Hopefully we can start doing displays and other activities at the hospital again soon!

Spring Meetings

Houston Brick Club has returned to in-person meetings this year. On March 19, 26 members met at the LEGO® Brand Retail Store in Willowbrook Mall to shop, discuss upcoming activities, and generally socialize. Thanks to the store for opening early and allowing us to use their space!

On April 30, 14 members met at Space Cadets Collection in The Woodlands. The store provide bulk used LEGO® parts for Club members to look through and buy. The final unfinished sections of our Micro Houston build were shown, and we talked about Brick Rodeo and other upcoming activities. Thanks to Space Cadets for letting us meet there!

April – May events

Houston Brick Club had two events at area schools recently. On April 9, seven members took part in Bookapalooza at Dulles High School in Sugar Land. This event was created by the school as “a place where students can have fun and connect with each other to share their love of comics, books, manga, anime, and writing.” Club members presented displays of MOCs, included a number of motorized and hands-on Technic builds. Approximately 900 public attendees were present.

On May 13 and 14, 2022, Club members attended Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances at West U. Elementary School. The Club was invited by a mother and son who had attended last year’s Brick Rodeo and wanted a LEGO® theme for this event. Five Club members diplayed MOCs such as large mosaics, a castle, and various Technic builds that the kids were able to play with. The event had about 200 attendees each night.

2021 Holiday Party

Houston Brick Club celebrated the 2021 holiday season with an in-person party at a member’s home on December 4. Thirty-two Club members attended. We held a draft and exchanged brick-built ornaments. We had a very lively gift exchange with many “steals.” We talked about next year’s activities and generally socialized.

Most importantly, we collected new LEGO(R) sets for charity. About (60) sets and another (20) or so polybags were donated by Club members. These were later given to Texas Children’s Hospital . Houston Brick Club has had been activities at TCH over the years. Those activities have been paused due to the ongoing coronavirus issues, and we hope that we can resume them soon.